"Rat Pack" to come to Black Knight

"Rat Pack Tribute Show" members George R. Snider III, Megan Collins and Lee Dean. Snider, who created the show, impersonates Dean Martin, while Dean portrays Sinatra. Collins often portrays Marilyn Monroe in performances of the "Rat Pack Tribute Show," by Murder and Merriment. 

"The Rat Pack" is coming to Historic Black Knight Municipal Park in August for an evening of fundraising and fun.

Lee Dean (Frank Sinatra) and George R. Snider III (Dean Martin) will perform Murder and Merriment's "Rat Pack Tribute Show," an original show that features music from the early 1960s, in the style that Sinatra and Martin performed at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Tim Berry Real Estate is sponsoring the show, which will benefit the Raleigh County Humane Society and the Blessing Box project of Pastor Ballard Johnson of Ebenezer Baptist Church, business owner Tim Berry said.

"We're a little different than some of these other impersonators," said Snider, who created the tribute show with Dean. "They are more about performing just the music and not necessarily doing it in the style of Sinatra, in the style of Dean Martin."

Diners will see Snider, cigarette in hand, impersonating Martin throughout the show and staying in character. The tribute weaves comedy and audience participation into the show.

"I try to sing it just like Dean would've sang it, or close to it," said Snider, who created the Huntington-based Murder and Merriment company, which produces interactive murder mystery shows. "Lee does the same thing with Frank Sinatra."

Snider and Dean are good friends, which has made working together good for them and for their audiences.

"Lee and I are such best friends in real life that the chemistry is extremely strong between us, so that makes the show even better, in our opinion," he explained. "We know each other so well, individually, but from a performance standpoint, it makes it super easy to be able to perform together."

The show at Black Knight will feature an actress who will perform as Marilyn Monroe.

"I've so much enjoyed this," said Snider. "It's so much fun.

"It's engaging the audience. A lot of people just love that music."

Dean performed as Frank Sinatra at "Swingin' with Sinatra," a tribute show that Berry hosted at Black Knight in June. The show sold out, and audience members reported on social media that they had thoroughly enjoyed Dean's performance.

Tim Berry, owner of Tim Berry Real Estate, said Wednesday that the popularity of Dean's Sinatra show led him to bring "The Rat Pack Tribute" dinner show to Beckley.

"It was a tremendous success; the feedback was unbelievable," Berry said. "They enjoyed the show. They enjoyed the food. They enjoyed Lee's interaction with the audience.

"I wanted to kind of expand on it, so we went with The Rat Pack Tribute show. I think people will really appreciate that."

Dean danced with some members of the audience and made it personal, talking to them during the show, Berry reported. He also personalized the "Chicago, Chicago" song to be about Beckley, adding original verses about the city, Berry added.

The show raised about $1,200 for the Raleigh Humane Society.

He said the "Rat Pack Tribute Show" will offer another fun and entertaining evening out for local audiences and give them an opportunity to enjoy food by the Black Knight staff.

The "Rat Pack Tribute Show" and dinner will be at Historic Black Knight on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 6 p.m. Doors will open around 5:45 p.m., and a buffet dinner will start at 6 p.m., with the show starting around 7 p.m.

Tickets are $40 each and include dinner and the show.

Tickets may be reserved by calling 304-222-0940.

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